Gary Cohn, the president and CEO of Goldman Sachs from 2006 to 2017 has entered the blockchain space as an adviser to a distributed ledger technology (DLT) startup Spring Labs.
Cohn, whose time at the investment bank spanned 17 years, joins Spring Labs after resigning his appointment at the White house.
At the White House, Cohn served as the Director of the National Economic Council and economic Advice to President Donald Trump, albeit for a brief stint. He resigned in March after failing to convince the president against imposing tariffs.
The Lure of Blockchain
Though Cohn’s forte may be banking and economics, the investment banker is no newbie to blockchain technology. He noted that he came across the emerging technology while working at the White House as well as in his time at Goldman Sachs. In his first post-White House interview with CNBC, he explained that he received some offers in the blockchain sector.
On his decision to join the blockchain fintech startup, Cohn said:
“I have been very interested in blockchain technology for a number of years, and Spring Labs is developing a network that could have profound implications for the financial services sector, among others.”
What Gary Cohn Means For Blockchain and Cryptocurrency
Cohn’s interest in blockchain couple with his experience in the Financial and Economic sphere is welcome for the blockchain community. In his interview, he said that the financial sector is an “obvious place” and a “very, very analog industry” while Spring Labs he says is a “unique opportunity to digitize it.
“we all know all the inefficiencies of the existing currency world and blockchain clearly helps to eliminate them at some point in the future.”
Having pointed towards the downside of the current monetary system, Cohn was short of recommending cryptocurrency—which is enabled by blockchain technology—for the future economy.
That said, Cohn has shown in the past that he is not a huge fan of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies opting to limit his support to the blockchain technology that underlies cryptos. As Smartereum reported in May, Cohn said that said that the future global digital currency will somehow be powered by blockchain technology.
When asked if his former employers should issue bitcoin futures contracts, he replied: “Goldman Sachs should go ahead and do what they think is good for their shareholders.”
According to information on its website, Spring Labs is building a “decentralized network for identity and credit to serve as the foundation for a more transparent, secure, and efficient delivery of financial services.” It is positioned as a credit data blockchain, a decentralized alternative to Equifax which suffered a major hack that affected nearly 150 million users.
Other advisors for the project include former (or precent) execs of FDIC, HHBC NA, BBVA, McKinsey, Oracle, PayPal, Coinbase and more.